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Diamond Foods closing Fishers plant with 100 employees

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Snack food maker Diamond Foods Inc. has notified Indiana officials that nearly 100 employees at its manufacturing facility in Fishers will lose their jobs when the company closes the plant early next year.

The Stockton, Calif.-based company informed the Indiana Department of Workforce Development on Monday that the plant, on Exit 5 Parkway near the Interstate 69 and East 116th Street interchange, will close Jan. 31.

Ninety-eight employees will be affected by the closure, including 85 production workers, Diamond said.

The company gave no reason to the state for its decision to shut the facility. A phone call to local plant officials was not returned Tuesday morning.

The company's national office later issued a prepared statement from Stephen Sibert, vice president of corporate affairs and communications:

“We have made the difficult decision to close our Fishers production facility as a result of the elimination of several less-differentiated items in our Emerald product line, which are manufactured at the facility," the statement said. "All Emerald brand items will be produced in our Stockton, Calif. facility going forward. No decision such as this is ever taken lightly and we regret the impact it will have on employees. Our priority is to ensure they are treated respectfully and fairly during this time, and we are working with them to ensure a smooth transition.”

Diamond took over the 187,000 square-foot plant, which is used for processing and packaging snacks, when it acquired Fishers-based Harmony Foods Corp. in 2006.

The company’s Emerald products will now be manufactured at its Stockton, Calif., facility, the company said in a federal filing.

Besides its Emerald snack chips, Diamond’s brands also include Kettle Chips, Pop Secret popcorn and Diamond of California nuts.

Diamond became a publicly traded company in 2005. Company shares are trading at $18.49 each. NASDAQ recently threatened to delist the company for not filing its annual report in a timely manner.
 

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